'Red Eye' alert in St Lucia

Saturday, July 01, 2017

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CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) — Health authorities in St Lucia have placed the island on alert for the conjunctivitis virus, commonly called “Red Eye” after the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) earlier this week confirmed there had been outbreaks of the virus in the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Guadeloupe and Martinique.

The Ministry of Health said that it was important for people to identify, control and prevent the spread of the virus especially among children under the age of five.

“In light of the increased transmission in our neighbouring states of Martinique and Guadeloupe and considering the frequent travel to and from these states, the ministry increased surveillance and is currently implementing control measures to prevent the spread of the disease,” said national epidemiologist, Nahum Jn Baptiste.

Jn Baptiste urged members of the public to practice personal hygiene and avoid contact with discharges from the eyes or the upper respiratory tracts of infected persons. He urged people to seek medical treatment for affected eyes.

The Ministry of Health said that the highly contagious disease usually lasts from two days to three weeks and that affected school children should not be allowed to attend classes.

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